feud hit | 

Two men to be prosecuted over alleged roles in Robbie Lawlor murder

Lawlor was murdered during a drugs feud between gangsters linked to Drogheda, Dublin and Sligo
Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor

Alan Erwin

Two men are to be prosecuted for their alleged roles in the plot to assassinate underworld boss Robbie Lawlor, it was confirmed today.

The gangster was gunned down in broad daylight last year in the Ardoyne area of north Belfast.

Adrian Holland, 38, and Patrick Teer, 46, have both been charged with his murder.

At Belfast Magistrates' Court today a Crown lawyer said: "I can confirm that a decision to prosecute has been taken.

"Work will now begin on preparing the PE (Preliminary Enquiry) papers."

Lawlor was shot dead outside a house at Etna Drive in the city on April 4, 2020.

A gunman emerged from the property and opened fire, hitting the 36-year-old victim in the head and body.

The murder is connected to a deadly drugs dispute among organised crime gangs with connections to Drogheda, Dublin, Sligo and beyond Ireland, previous courts heard.

Four killings and a series of other attacks have been linked to the feud.

Neither Teer, of Thornberry Hill in Belfast, nor Holland, from Etna Drive, are suspected of shooting Lawlor.

Instead, they were charged with murder as part of a joint enterprise, based on their alleged involvement in events surrounding the assassination.

According to the prosecution the plot to lure Lawlor to his death was devised nearly three weeks earlier.

Holland allegedly travelled to Sligo and spoke to an unnamed international drug dealer at a hotel on March 16.

It was claimed that Teer paid for his co-accused's trip.

Both men remain in custody following a series of failed applications for bail.

With 20 files of evidential material amassed by detectives, the court was told today it could take eight weeks to prepare for the PE to establish if they will be returned for trial.

Defence lawyers objected to the proposed timeframe and pressed for more clarity on the allegations they will face.

Prosecution counsel responded: "There are no further investigative steps (to be taken), and my instructions are that the decision (to prosecute) is as per the charge sheet."

Adjourning the case to next month, District Judge George Conner called for the committal proceedings to take place as quickly as possible.

He added: "At least a realistic timetable has been put forward today in what I know is a complex case."

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